Kvell-Article-11-7-content-Marketing-Challenges

What B2B Content Marketers Need to Know

The Seven Critical Challenge Areas.

Content marketing – the sleeping giant is awake, hungry and growing.

71 % of the B2B companies surveyed claim that content marketing has become more important in the past year than ever. It is fast becoming the foundation of all marketing.

Importance of B2B Content Marketing

The resources to build this growing prominence have not fully materialized. In the survey, an open-ended question was asked:

“If you could change one aspect of content marketing in your company, what would that be?”

The responses were:

  • More budget and additional staff
  • Executive-level awareness and support
  • More access to subject matter experts
  • Greater alignment between marketing and sales
  • A content marketing strategy
  • Better technology
  • Better measurement

The above is a sizeable wish list. No wonder the overall success rate is stuck – 29% say they are successful with content marketing.

One thing is obvious: It’s time for B2B companies to support content marketing with staff and the investment it deserves.

Content marketing has never been more critical than now to driving overall marketing success. More is needed, more budget, more headcount, and more support.

This research will make you feel less alone, and it will also assist you in prioritizing the aspects you need to focus on to develop your team and increase your value and impact.”

The seven critical challenge areas.

What are the most frequently stated content marketing challenges?

With this question, marketers picked as many challenges as they actually had. Many of their answers collectively lead to their biggest challenge.

Others focus on the content itself – content that appeals to different phases of the buyer’s funnel (61%) and achieves consistency with messages (33%).

Only 2% don’t have any content marketing challenges.

More budget and additional staff

Many content researchers operate alone or with a small staff struggling to do too much. 46% of those surveyed say one person is responsible for every piece of content their organization produces.

Nearly half say their organization will hire content producers in the coming year, with 25% planning to employ content marketers and 22% adding social media specialists.

Executive-level awareness and support

If you struggle to get seniors to understand the value of content marketing, you need to step up and educate them.

Does content marketing struggle from a failure to communicate?

Consider these responses to the above question:

  • “The right content is important for the buyer’s journey and campaigns.”
  • “Recognize content’s value and support it with funding and resourcing.”
  • “More support and focus from leadership on our goals to improve and refine our content marketing focus to ensure we head in the right direction with the correct resources.”
  • “Define content marketing as a value function to support all other marketing efforts.”
  • “Talk less about content marketing and more about business impact.”

Yes, all this takes more work. But the alternative is an underappreciated, underfunded content program or, worse, a cancelled one.

More access to subject matter experts (SMEs)

Getting internal experts to work together on content initiatives is vital to creating appropriate content – especially when they hold the knowledge you cannot easily find elsewhere.

Yet, one-third of surveyed marketers indicate that accessing SMEs for content creation is challenging. Among the detailed responses shared about this SME challenge:

  • “Accessibility to subject matter experts is essential. Since most of these are internal contacts busy with their work, getting enough from them to write content can be a long process, even if the value is proven.”
  • “Help our experts understand what the audience wants to hear from them. A true connection with their company.”
  • “Get the subject experts to give the story — value and whys at a deep level.”

Yes, content creation isn’t in the expert’s job description. But if you can help them understand how working with you can assist them in reaching their goals, you’ll likely earn their cooperation.

Greater alignment between sales and content

Almost half (49%) say they struggle to align content efforts across sales and marketing. 59% claim that creating content that appeals to different phases of the buyer’s journey is challenging. After all, content connected to the buyer’s funnel stages often requires a good relationship between marketing and sales.

The solution to this relationship issue is a written content marketing strategy agreed to by all parties, including sales and marketing.

But there is something else – a planning process that focuses all participants on the big story your brand wants to tell.

A content marketing strategy

Content marketing has a much better chance of success when backed by a sound (written) strategy and the technology and other resources to execute it.

All copywriters focusing on B2B have been hammering this point about a written plan for years. Yet the percentage of content creators with a documented strategy remains at 40%.

Without a written strategy, you have more difficulty proving your program’s value to team leaders and executives. You struggle to maintain external and internal teams working toward a shared goal.

Are you finally going to write it down?

And once you’ve written it down, will you share it far and wide?

Better technology

Only 28% of marketers claim their organization has the right technology to manage content the organization. Most (61%) claim their organization either hasn’t acquired the right technology or is not using existing technology to its full potential. 11% have no idea if they have the right technology.

Companies either not using or don’t have the right technology because they develop tech stacks without a strategy. Do not underestimate the complexity involved in implementing, maintaining and managing the appropriate technology.

Better measurement

42 % say they are handicapped to maintain consistency with measurement. Some explained their challenge and what they wanted to happen:

  • “I would love to be able to measure and communicate success more clearly and use that information to inform future decision-making.”
  • “(I want) a better way to track content marketing performance as a whole. Right now, it’s disorganized, disconnected, and hard to trace leads back. Though it might seem like technology would provide the answer, that’s not necessarily so. Instead, start with agreed-upon objectives and how to measure them.

Conclusion

B2B content marketing engages with the audience by building trust and loyalty. Growth Content Marketing amplifies that relationship by going even deeper.

B2B content marketing is buyer-centric, compounding, measurable, and scalable. It consistently performs more reliably than almost any other tactic, making it one of the best foundations for marketing success.

From blog posts to podcasts and everything in between, unique, consistent, and valuable content is the best way to connect with your audience on the most practical level.

Jan

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